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PW forms ethics board to raise the bar
April, 23rd 2009

Price Waterhouse India (PW) has set up an advisory board, which is expected to help the audit company reflect on the voice of external stakeholders in its strategic decision making.

PW on Wednesday announced the appointment of Naresh Chandra, one of the leading exponents of corporate governance in India and former cabinet secretary, as chairman of the advisory board.

Other eminent members inducted to the board include V K Shunglu, a former comptroller and auditor general of India, and B B Tandon, who has been the mines as well as personnel ministry secretary before being appointed chief election commissioner.

Gautam Banerjee, a senior partner of PwC's Singapore company, too will join the board to provide a perspective from outside India.

The board, which will hold its first meeting shortly, is being established to bring an external perspective to PW.

Even though the idea of setting up an advisory board was triggered by the Satyam fiasco, the board is not a statutory body and has no executive powers. The advice provided by the board will focus on four key areas--quality, business strategy, governance and ethics, leadership development & mentoring.

Given that PW India is a large organisation, with a strength of around 6,000 and 150 partners, the firm is keen that the board provides a fresh perspective on leadership and mentoring.

PwC chairman Ramesh Rajan said: "The breadth and depth of experience that they will bring will be very valuable as we set out our plans to grow and develop, and to continue to provide the highest quality of service to our clients and stakeholders.''

In the wake of the Satyam scam, a fraud perpetrated by its former chairman, in which two of PW's auditors too were booked, industry experts say PW has set a precedent with the advisory board which is expected to raise the bar on quality, service and ethics, not only for PW but for the entire auditing fraternity.

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